Recent Comments by hexagram

Explosive and shocking allegations against junior hockey in newly filed lawsuit

NoMich -- it isn't just DUMB. It isn't about resentment. It's about bodily and mental injury. And, it's criminal: assault, sexual assault.

After what happened at St. Mike's in Toronto a couple of years ago, you'd think this stuff would be OVER.

posted by hexagram at 05:16 PM on June 19, 2020

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Where is Howie Meeker when we need him?

posted by hexagram at 11:48 PM on November 11, 2019

"Missed call" lawsuit against NFL proceeds in Louisiana

I'm an attorney and this is fun -- but ridiculous.

The whole idea behind instant replay is mistaken. The question isn't whether the guy really was safe at second or whether the ball really crossed the goal line. It's whether IT LOOKS THAT WAY to the naked eye. So calls get blown. And we're put out. Deal with it and get a life.

If your connection to the Saints is such that you think a referee's call is worth litigating, you need a better perspective on life.

(Permit ne a sllightly political comment. A lot of the people who favor instant replay don't support spending money to be sure rreally important real-world decisions are made correctly -- which is otherwise known as "regulation".)

posted by hexagram at 06:11 PM on July 20, 2019

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Weird. Maybe he lost his balance when the blocker bumped into him. Or maybe he didn't know who had the ball. Or maybe.....

posted by hexagram at 11:16 PM on December 18, 2018


Fabulous, thorough piece. But it omits discussion of the key factor in football that brought it to its current state. Platooning.

Every other team sport, except baseball and cricket, are structured so that the team that controls the ball may lose it at nay moment and suddenly find itself playing defines , rather than offence. Accordingly, those sports contain a natural inhibitor against specialization. Specialization leads to selection for specialization. So, you have linemen who get bigger and bigger who could never play any other position. You have running backs who could never defend a pass. Etc.

The fact that a team that loses the ball gets to change players has led football to develop unidimensional athletes. Other sports -- hockey, basketball, rugby, soccer -- require such a range of skill that extreme body types and extreme behaviours are limited by the inherent requirements of the game. Baseball, which also has a hiatus between offensive and defensive periods for a given team -- has forcibly introduced this natural limiting factor, by the rule against substitutions: if you substitute, the departing player is out of the game for good. Without this, we'd see human hitting machines against a new breed for fielder, each "bred" for his position. Of course, there are stereotypical athletic forms for each position. But the tendency to go to extremes is hemmed in by the need to play "on the other side of the ball". [The key idiosyncrasy of baseball is that the defence has control of the means of play -- i.e. the baseball. So the offence is always reacting. A team can't decide what it will do and then staff up for exactly that play. Other sports prevent the latter by allowing the other team to play offence as soon as the ball (puck) turns over, creating the same uncertainty as receiving pitches in baseball does.]

So, any fix for the violence in football has to contend with the basic setup of the game. Possible changes are: (1) everyone has to play on both sides of the ball with no substitutions; (2) after a turnover, the defence has to stay on the field at least for first down; (3) cutting the play clock down to 24 seconds (which would emphasize conditioning);...there are others.

posted by hexagram at 08:16 PM on May 06, 2017

Losing Wisconsin Coach Laments 'Rent-a-Player' Trend

simple solution: eliminate athletic scholarships. then college sports will be back to being college sports and the kids who want to play ball for a living will migrate to the development leagues that will inevitably spring up.

posted by hexagram at 12:17 AM on April 08, 2015

Revealed: the ghost game bet on around the world ... that never actually took place.

My grandfather went to yeshiva in Slutzk. No, he was not a midfielder.

posted by hexagram at 05:17 PM on February 25, 2015

Sports announcers already know it, and now Elan Fuld has proven it: clutch hitters really do exist.

"Sports announcers already know it" but do they have any idea who the clutch hitters are? No. They invariably refer to one or two memorable situations in which someone got a meaningful hit, without having any idea how many times the same guy FAILED to get a needed hit, or how many times someone else hit clutch in a less prominent game. All anecdotal.

posted by hexagram at 11:51 AM on July 09, 2008

The best athletes ever, by number.

Citing Warren Moon's "barrier-breaking" impact demeans his on-field accomplishments. Simply put, his numbers in the NFL are better than even Dan Marino's, who everyone has on their all-time list. Nearly 50,000 passing yards (fourth-best), one of three with back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons in his time (Marino, Fouts), etc. He won wherever he went. Highest-paid player in his sport. Ho doesn't need African-american-ness to rank at the top.

posted by hexagram at 05:14 PM on July 07, 2007

Baseball's lost art of larceny

In my view, blaming the fans is bunk. Fans like winning. Fans like excitement. Fans like baseball. There is as much sound and involvement at the ballpark during an extended rally as there is when the long ball hitter is up. The emphasis on the long ball and the movement away from stealing starts in the front office. By the way, don't overestimate the value of a steal. The cost of being caught stealing is huge: it creates an out AND wipes out a hit or walk. No batter can do that. When you add the custom of "protecting the runner" by having the batter swing at almost anything when the runner is going, you have to be careful about using the steal.

posted by hexagram at 07:55 PM on May 17, 2007

Former UNC player Melissa Jennings accuses Anson Dorrance, the nation's most decorated women's soccer coach, of maintaining a hostile environment filled with sexual harassment

TerpFan and Tieguy, this isn't about what kind of person Dorrance is - whether or not he's a "letch", whatever that means. It's about what he does, not what he is. The things he said, as related in the ruling, are totally out of line for anyone outside of a personal relationship and the thing is that a coach or an employer or can't and shouldn't have the right to make disparaging and intrusive sexual remarks (e.g. Who is your fuck of the minute?) to anyone over whom they have the authority to make decisions affecting their benefits or career. This isn't banter and it isn't merely "creepy": it's a way for an older man to force his way into the sex life of young women (some only 17) and he knows he can get away with it becuase they can't tell him to "fuck off" becuase he might take it out on their scholarship or their playing time or their letters of recommendation. Imagine a math professor talking like that to his students. No one reading this thread would think that's acceptable. Well, athletes don't give up their dignity just because they do physical activity for a living.

posted by hexagram at 07:34 AM on April 14, 2007

Jean Strahan hints that Michael is gay.

Come on, everybody. Nobody posting to this thread has ANY information on which to base an opinion about Michael Strahan's personal life. Let's get back to sports.

posted by hexagram at 07:23 AM on June 22, 2006

What are the odds

There was also an incident in Toronto on August 4, 1983 when Dave Winfield of the Yankees hit a seagull with a between-innings warm-up throw. The bird was walking in right field in Exhibition Stadium. He was accused of doing it intentionally and the good people of Toronto, through the Metropolitan Toronto Police, charged him with cruelty to animals. (No kidding!) The charge was eventually dropped. I wasn't at the park that day, but people I know who were there say it ws pretty clear that Winfield was aiming for the bird. After all, it was walking, not flying, and warm-up throws back to the infield aren't ususally made on a bounce.

posted by hexagram at 11:32 AM on June 07, 2006

Danny Almonte, Now 19, Gets Married to 30-Year-Old Woman

The misogynist, sexist comments about gold-digging and sperm-stealing should have been rejected by the webmaster of this site. Similar comments about any racial group would be clearly repulsive and the same is true about generic put-downs of women in general. The plain FACT is that nobody writing in has any knowledge of the people or facts involved. So, nobody should have an opinion. The simple rule is: IF YOU'RE IGNORANT, KEEP YOUR MOUTH (AND KEYBOARD) SHUT!

posted by hexagram at 03:49 PM on May 23, 2006 The Business Of Baseball

As for the number of different teams in the Super Bowl and the World Series, the NFL fields 32 teams to MLB's 30. So, the 14 NFL teams and 13 MLB teams represent just about the same percentage of the full complement. As well, statistically speaking, the fact that the NFL pool includes 50% more playoff teams is huge. Look at it this way: in ten years, 120 NFL teams have made it into the playoffs and 14 have made it to the Super Bowl-- a little less than 12%. In MLB, 13 of 80 teams have made it -- over 16%. This translates into a 40% greater chance for an MLB playoff team to make it into the Series than an NFL playoff team has to make it to the Super Bowl. If you're interested in "parity", there's another meaning to the term: What are the chances that I'll see my team win when I go to the game? Here the NFL is dismal. "On any given Sunday", your underdog team is going to lose. Consider this: In the past 16 seasons, at least 30% of the NFL teams have won or lost more than 65% of their games -- i.e W-L percentages above .650 or below .350. In 10 seasons over 40% were dominantly good or dominantly bad. There were 6 seasons where over 50% of the teams met the standard. In two seasons, over 60% did. During those 16 seasons, 481 teams played seasons in the NFL. 108 of them had super-dismal seasons where they lost more than 65% of their games. During those 16 seasons, an average of almost 7 teams each season lost more than 65% of their games. This is just as true in the NBA, where 453 teams played and 94 lost more than 35% of their games. Of course, the NFL is hampered by the fact that they only play 17 games per season, so the chances to catch up are less. But, hey, they make the rules. In MLB, the comparable numbers are 458 seasons played, 9 sub-.350 seasons. Total. For the whole 16 years. In baseball, a 100-win season is only worth a W-L pct of .617. Kansas City is going to beat the Yankees some nights. The Raptors will never beat the Pistons and the Lions are never going to beat New England. If you want the promise of "on any given day, any team can beat any other team", try baseball. This doesn't mean the NFL ain't fun. But it sure ain't a level playing field.

posted by hexagram at 03:34 PM on April 21, 2006

National Disgrace

You guys know waaaay too much about DUI legislation. Why is that?

posted by hexagram at 05:05 PM on April 19, 2006